Steve Wozniak, known to many in the technology community as “The Woz” and heralded as the original brain behind Apple Computer, will be hitting the dance floor on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere, Monday, March 9, 2009 from 8:00-10:02 p.m. ET on ABC. Wozniak will be joined in Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars by Belinda Carlisle, David Alan Grier, Jewel, Shawn Johnson, Lil’ Kim, Gilles Marini, Ty Murray, Steve-O, Nancy O’Dell, Denise Richards, Chuck Wicks and football legend Lawrence Taylor.
Steve Wozniak is best known for co-founding Apple Computer with Steve Jobs in 1976, he will always be remembered as the man who single handedly pioneered personal computers, revolutionized the computing industry and inspired generations with the elegant, easy to use, affordable Apple line of computers. Woz created the Apple I, which is largely regarded as the first fully assembled personal computer, to launch Apple Computer, but he made his name with the Apple II, released in 1977. Woz designed an inexpensive floppy disk drive in 1978 and was also responsible for writing much of the software originally provided with the Apple computers. Apple Computer went public in 1980, and Wozniak left the company in 1981.
It is difficult, if not completely impossible, to overstate the impact Steve Wozniak has had on the world we live in today. While IBM almost entirely missed out on the personal computer market, Wozniak was the one to create a machine for the masses and force IBM and other companies to take notice of this market. In fact, in 1980, IBM upper management reportedly noticed that IBM accountants were purchasing Apple II computers with their own money and bringing them in to work. See Missed Opportunities. Had it not been for a series of bad business decisions by Apple Computer after Wozniak left the company there would have been little room for IBM or Microsoft to exist in the market, something that is always shocking for those unfamiliar with the history of the personal computer to learn.
In 2000 Wozniak was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame, an honor that was long overdue. The US Patent for which Wozniak received induction into the Inventors Hall of Fame was US Patent No. 4,136,359 titled Microcomputer for use with video display, which was assigned to Apple Computer Inc. Wozniak is also named as the sole inventor on three other Apple patents:
US Patent No. 4,210,959 titled Controller for magnetic disc, recorder, or the like
US Patent No. 4,217,604 titled Apparatus for digitally controlling pal color display
US Patent No. 4,278,972 titled Digitally-controlled color signal generation means for use with display
Wozniak was also awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for “single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.”
On February 5, 2009, Fusion-io, a relatively young technology company founded in 2006, announced that Steve Wozniak has joined the company as its Chief Scientist. Fusion-io is already a leading provider of enterprise solid-state architecture and high-performance I/O solutions, and Wozniak will act as a key technical advisor to the Fusion-io research and development group. He will also work closely with the executive team of Fusion-io in formulating a company strategy that will accelerate the expansion of major global accounts. Prior to his appointment as chief scientist at Fusion-io, Wozniak was a member of the company’s advisory board, where he counseled the company on market trends, product road maps and other strategic activities. Wozniak will continue to advise the Fusion-io team on these vital issues.
By creating components that can drop into any off-the-shelf server, Fusion-io enables the enterprise to build a complete, high-performance storage area network (SAN) quickly, easily and cost-effectively. With multi-terabytes of low-cost, tiered storage, including high-performance enterprise flash and high-speed enterprise networking, these easy-to-deploy-and-manage solutions facilitate migration away from proprietary SAN architecture to higher performing, more flexible, lower-cost storage solutions.
In a press release announcing his joining Fusion-io, Wozniak said:
With the revolutionary technological advances being made by Fusion-io, the company is in the right place at the right time with the right technology and ready to direct the history of technology into the 21st century and beyond. The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer. Fusion-io’s technology is extremely useful to many different applications and almost all of the world’s servers.
About the Author
|Eugene R. Quinn, Jr.
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
US Patent Attorney (Reg. No. 44,294)
B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
Gene is a US Patent Attorney, Law Professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He teaches patent bar review courses and is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Inventors Association. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN Money and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide